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The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

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  • In 1971, a whistleblower's daring act of conscience led directly to Watergate, President Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam War.
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  • Broadcast: Tuesday, October 5 at 9:00 PM (90 minutes); Online: October 6, 2010 to October 27, 2010; Check local listings
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  • Series received no corporate funding
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PBS

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Bob Heberle

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In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a leading Vietnam War strategist, concludes that America’s role in the war is based on decades of lies. He leaks 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times, a daring act of conscience that leads directly to Watergate, President Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg and a who’s-who of Vietnam-era movers and shakers give a riveting account of those world-changing events in POV’s The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers by award-winning filmmakers Judith Ehrlich (The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It) and Rick Goldsmith (Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press). A co-production of ITVS in association with American Documentary/POV. (90 minutes)

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Do The Costs of Two Wars Exceed Our Human Capacity to Care?

Where do the soldiers go next and who can they trust to hear their pain without judgement?

Chante Wolf, Persian Gulf War Veteran, Evergreene Digest

As an uncle recently told me, “I probably will not read your latest publication (my Veterans Book Project) because, for me, it is time to move on, not from your story exactly, but the hardship some of it has caused you.”

I already get the tip-toe treatment and a pat on the head sorta speak from other family members when I get really upset with our military missions of pre-meditated mass murder. So what next? If I can not voice my feelings about war and the currently proposed never-ending one, when do I get to “move on?” When do the troops who have been exposed to mass horror tour after tour get the chance to protect their ʻbeautiful mindsʼ like former first lady, Barbara Bush said in 2003 before the invasion of Iraq?

Are our families in emotional overload? Are they tired of the anger, money problems, isolation and walking on egg shells around their veteran, careful not to set them off over the simplest thing? I know that there are family members who have started to commit suicide themselves. On two different occasions I heard the stories about the children of veterans attempting suicide, including a niece of a
veteran who killed himself.

Often soldiers come home disillusioned, full of guilt, remorse and displaced anger over the tremendous loss of life and destruction as well as the calamities of friendly fire, accidents and fraud, waste and abuse of U.S. tax dollars. And what happens when they get dissed by their own families who can not find the courage to listen with heart or begin to grasp the enormous change their loved one has just gone through, for the fourth, fifth, or sixth time? Are the soldiers told, “it is time for me to move on”, or “shut the fuck up and get over it - it is in the past now”, or “there is more to life than your war shit, you fucking drunk!”?

Where do the soldiers go next and who can they trust to hear their pain without judgement? 

Recently at the Minneapolis VA, I walked in with an ex-Marine hurting from the recent losses of two more men in his original unit (7 already committed suicide alone). He was suicidal. We went to the PTSR clinic for lack of knowledge of where we should have gone. We were then escorted from the PTSR clinic to the Emergency Room, and the woman escort relayed why we were there to the woman at the front desk. Once at the desk the woman asked the ex-Marine some questions, then started to “should” on him for not keeping his appointments three-years ago. He began to cry and told her he canʼt get the war out of his head and he wants to kill himself.

After he went through the task of getting evaluated he was wheel-chaired behind closed doors and left by himself for over 45 minutes. The young man was then ʻshouldʼ on again, this time by the social worker about needing not to do alcohol or drugs for a period of time before he could get help and was then let go to his own accord. Once outside with a fellow VFP Vietnam Marine, he told us that out of his original unit it was only him and another guy left alive, that he just wanted to be normal like everyone else.

Where do us vets go when our families have had enough heartache? What safe space do we find when the family still wants to ʻrah-rahʼ about war and all the good we are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq liberating all those people to Allah? Who will toss the soldiers the life line they need to get them out of their basements? And the flip of the coin, how will the families begin to find their lives after they have cut their loved one down from the water pipe and garden hose they used to hang themselves?

Support the troops has been a very affective propaganda tool, which in my opinion only means that to protest the war the family member may jinx the life of their loved one deployed. Then the guilt and remorse those families would carry would be unbearable when, in reality it again serves its purpose to silence dissent. Even the spitting image has been effectively used against the peace protestors, specifically women. It seems interesting to me that women are the spitters. Hitler used the same image of women spitting on the German troops after their losing WWI to drum up support for his next war.

How do we ever navigate through all the hypocrisy, spitting images, and calling war veterans cowards because they have been injured mentally from the brutality of war? How do the families negotiate the heartache and adjustments they must deal with their wounded warriors? How do the children grow up with all the confusion going on around them and not themselves be forever affected by war?

If this is really all very confusing - welcome home. This is just the tip of the iceberg that has just broken off in Greenland and is coming to a theater near you.

Why do Americans continue to buy the lies and deceit of the rich and the Pentagon to wage war? What can we really do about it all? Perhaps the sand is a better place to put our heads when the shit is too hard to swallow anymore. I certainly feel this way, and have found myself shying away from other war vets when their stories and heart ache has become too hard for me to bear. And the last nine years has been a long time to hold my breath for the current wars and 19 years of my own guilt and remorse that has cost me more than just brain cells, sleep, my friends from the military, my ex-partner, it has now cost me most of my family.

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Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) In Legal Shambles

Last week (Sep 19-25), in a 56-43 vote, Senate Democrats failed to invoke cloture on the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, falling several votes shy of the 60 need to break a Republican filibuster.

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The Progress Report, Think Progress

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Last week (Sep 19-25), in a 56-43 vote, Senate Democrats failed to invoke cloture on the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, falling several votes shy of the 60 need to break a Republican filibuster. Along with concerns about voting to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy before the Pentagon completed its year-long review and the suggestion that the DREAM Act was unrelated to national defense, Republican Senators who say they support DADT repeal used procedural reasons to explain their vote against debating the measure. Republican  like Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) took to the floor and equated repealing the ban against open service in the military to restricting the right of Republicans to offer alternative amendments.

"I was the sole Republican on the Committee that voted for the Lieberman-Levin language on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I think it's the right thing to do, I think it's only fair. I think we should welcome the service of these individuals who are willing and capable of serving their country," Collins insisted. "But I cannot vote to proceed to this bill under a situation that is going to shut down debate and preclude Republican amendments. That too is not fair." Sen. Blance Lincoln (D-AR) similarly voted against cloture but said that she supported repeal of DADT. As Democrats now prepare to take up the defense authorization bill after the midterm elections, a series of court decisions have severely weakened DADT in the interim and galvanized opponents of the policy to pressure the administration into looking for alternative ways to begin the gradual process of ending the ban before the end of the year.

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Even The Troops Are Waking Up - A Fantastic Video

Empire of Illusion

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David Icke, DavidIcke.com

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Joanne Thielen
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Please circulate far and wide

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Empire of Illusion, Jeff Dietrich, The Catholic Agitator

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  • It's all about spectacle and debauchery. People are so disconnected from reality that they don't know how to read what is happening--they cannot grasp that the walls are tumbling down--and so they retreat into absurdities. This is the disease gripping American society today.
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  • Building a Nation of Know-Nothings
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  • Lady Gaga: Pop Star for a Country and an Empire in Decline
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Interview With Rep. Dennis Kucinich

Almost nine years into longest war in US history, at a time when the US spends more on its military budget than the rest of the world combined and endless war seems a frighteningly realistic possibility, I spoke with Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a long-time advocate for peace. Kucinich reminds us that there is another way: that through unity, persistence and a deeply necessary change in mindset, we can move toward a world in which mutual respect and global connections shape foreign policy, and the self-fulfilling prophecy of war loses its tragic momentum. He challenges us to imagine a world in which "peace is inevitable."

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Maya Schenwar, t r u t h o u t

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Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

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Maya Schenwar: Since the end of formal combat operations in Iraq, you've been speaking out against the continuing presence of US troops and increasing presence of American mercenaries there. How do you respond to those who say the continued presence is necessary for security reasons?

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Dennis Kucinich: America's invasion of Iraq has made us less secure. Before the entire world we invaded a country that did not attack us - that had no intention or capability of attacking us - and that, famously, did not have weapons of mass destruction. The subsequent occupation has fueled an insurgency, and as long as we have troops there, the insurgency will remain quite alive.

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Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act

The DREAM Act was specifically cited in the Department of Defense's FY2010-12 Strategic Plan to help the military "shape and maintain a mission-ready All Volunteer Force."
Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act!
US eyes more troops for Afghanistan

The Progress Report, Think Progress

This week (Sep 12-18), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that he will move a defense authorization bill next week that includes the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, along with a measure that begins the process of repealing the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy. The DREAM Act is an immigration bill that would put undocumented youth who were brought to the U.S. as children on a path to citizenship through completion of higher education or military service.

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While the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to include the DADT measure earlier this year, Reid has promised to attach the DREAM Act provisions to the defense measure and has scheduled a vote on proceeding to the bill for next week. Meanwhile, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) -- which, while consistently supportive of the DREAM Act, has long argued that it must be part of a comprehensive immigration bill -- announced its support. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who plans on introducing comprehensive legislation in October, stated on Wednesday that he backs a vote on the DREAM act without amendments "so we can know who stands with those students." That night, at the gala dinner for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, President Obama promised to help win passage of the DREAM Act and assured Latinos that he was not walking away from immigration reform.

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Stop the Militarization of the DREAM Act! Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI), in Change.org
Comite Anti-Militarizacion (CAMI) supports higher education for all students both documented and undocumented; however, we denounce the military component of the DREAM ACT. Unfortunately, this deadly component is strategically excluded from the debate by many Democrats and organizations who support the DREAM ACT.

US eyes more troops for Afghanistan, PressTV, in Citizens for Legitimate Government

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  • The mission comes in addition to the 30,000 extra troops sent by US President Barack Obama to bolster the unpopular war.
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  • "Hope-and-Change," A Hoax
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VA Made Secret Deal With Prudential Over Soldiers' Life Insurance Payouts

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  • Prudential and the VA wrongly manipulated a federal contract at the expense of military members and their relatives. “At a minimum, survivors ought to be made whole with their missed interest,” he says. “The VA really seems to have had the best interests of the insurance company at heart, instead of those of the soldiers and their families."
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  • Alan Simpson Condemns Disabled Vets for Breathing Agent Orange
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David Evans, Bloomberg

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest by Contributing Editor Chante Wolf

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs failed to inform 6 million soldiers and their families of an agreement enabling Prudential Financial Inc. to withhold lump-sum payments of life insurance benefits for survivors of fallen service members, according to records made public through a Freedom of Information request.

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The amendment to Prudential’s contract is the first document to show how VA officials sanctioned a payment practice that has spurred investigations by lawmakers and regulators. Since 1999, Prudential has used so-called retained-asset accounts, which allow the company to withhold lump-sum payments due to survivors and earn investment income on the money for itself.

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Alan Simpson Condemns Disabled Vets for Breathing Agent Orange, David Dayen, FireDogLake

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  • Maybe if Simpson and the ruling class weren’t so damned
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  • bloodthirsty, we wouldn’t have choices like this to make.
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  • Veterans Group Calls for Removal of Alan Simpson
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  • Show Alan Simpson, Vet Hater, the Door
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The True Cost of the War

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  • President Obama spoke of the cost to Americans of liberating Iraq, but is Iraq liberated or is Iraq in the hands of American puppet politicians and still occupied by 50,000 American troops and 200,000 private mercenaries and “contractors,” governed out of the largest embassy in the world, essentially a fortress?
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  • "Hope-and-Change," A Hoax
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  • A post-9/11 betrayal endures
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Paul Craig Roberts, Information Clearing House

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Will Shapira

Obama’s “end of Iraq war” speech must have shattered any remaining belief in him. Forced to appease both his supporters and the warmonger right-wing, who denounce him as a Muslim and a Marxist, Obama resorted to Orwellian DoubleSpeak. He could only announce an end to the war by praising the president who started it and the troops who fought it. Yet, as most earthlings, if not Americans, surely know by now, the war
was based on a lie and on intentional deception. The American troops died for a lie.

President Obama spoke of the cost to Americans of liberating Iraq, but is Iraq liberated or is Iraq in the hands of American puppet politicians and still occupied by 50,000 American troops and 200,000 private mercenaries and “contractors,” governed out of the largest embassy in the world, essentially a fortress?

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"Hope-and-Change," A Hoax, Michael Rectenwald and Lori Price, Citizens for Legitimate Government

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  • We believe that Obama’s rhetoric was a complete fabrication aimed at diverting real energy for change into a cul de sac of Democratic apologetics. It was, in short, a hoax.
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  • A post-9/11 betrayal endures
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A post-9/11 betrayal endures, Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times | CA

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  • President Obama and his administration have embraced the secrecy and usurpations of power that made possible the Bush-Cheney betrayal of American values
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  • A step backwards on privacy
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  • Court Dismisses a Case Asserting Torture by C.I.A.
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